The list of recipients was impressive. People being awarded a medal for politics, agriculture, philanthropy, volunteerism, public service, commerce, seniors service, sports, business and education. Wow! Why were these individuals being recognized? Let’s go back just a bit…
The Crown in Canada has a long history of instituting commemorative medals during important years; notably during Coronation Years, Jubilee Years and on the anniversary of Confederation. The first such commemorative medal awarded to Canadians was the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. This was followed one decade later by the first Diamond Jubilee medal, struck for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
In Canada, since the 1935 Silver Jubilee of King George V, commemorative medals have been awarded to recognize all manners of service to Crown and Country — be it at the local, provincial, national or international levels.
As part of the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty ascending the throne as Queen of Canada, this long tradition of creating commemorative medals has continued. In the absence of a Federal Platinum Jubilee Medal program, six provinces have established Jubilee Medals of their own — each with the same ribbon, overall design and criteria. The design of the medal was approved by Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle on May 17th.
The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Saskatchewan to honour Her Majesty for Her service to Canada, while also recognizing the significant contributions and achievements by Saskatchewan citizens.
Medal presenter, MLA Ken Francis, said because of the Queen’s passing, it made this event bittersweet and also maybe a little more special. He mentioned that when each recipient was informed that they were being recognized, the initial reaction was “why me”? He said the level of humility being shown was probably the biggest reason why they were chosen for the award.
Ken said that there were 7,000 medals to be given in Saskatchewan with 40 of them going to the West Central Region.
Master of ceremonies Reid McBride did a great job, as did all the people who helped make this event possible. A small reception followed the medal presentation.
The recipients are listed in alphabetical order;
Garry Becker, Candace Bessarabia, Dave Burke, Henry Butt, Bev Callsen, Ian Coutts, Maxine Donaldson, Marley Ervine, Kim Gardner, Tom Geiger, Catherine Higgenbotham, Kinsey Hildebrandt, Ron Hope, Betty King, Joanne Kosolofski, Candice Kraft, Ernie Krupp’s (posthumously), Christine Lang, Kim (Kimmer) Leonard, Garth McDonald, Richard McDougall, Roger McKenzie, Steve Mealey (posthumously), Carol Mitchell, Wayne Mock, Monique Neigum, Norman Neigum, Leslie Omness, Rod Perkins, Erin Pinceman, Angela Rioux, Isabelle Ryde, Myrtle Somerville, Lionel Story, Rita Syrota, Nancy Vanthuyne, Bill Warrington, Darwin Whitfield and Kate Winquist. Richard Anderson and Jason Dearborn were unable to attend.